It has been a long time since English batting is not performing up to the mark at the test level. This fact was illustrated in the first test match against New Zealand in the ongoing series. These batting woes are likely to continue for England in the second test at Hamilton. On the other hand, the Kiwi batting goes deep and yet it does not compromise on the bowling department. Mitchell Santner, Ben Watling, Neil Wagner, and Kane Williamson are in fine touch for the host nation. It was a dominating victory for the Kiwis in the first test at Bay Oval and it has brought the English problems to the forefront. They have to win the second test to square the series but New Zealand will be more a more confident side going in this match. However, they will have to keep in mind that England has responded to the challenges in the past and this fact makes for an exciting game starting on 29th November.
New Zealand team preparations
No one would have predicted such a dominating performance by the New Zealand players with an innings victory when they were 4 wickets down on the second day of the test match. All their top batsmen were dismissed with pretty much nothing on the board. But they were to witness one of the great test match batting displays by the lower middle order. Ben Watling who is a wicketkeeper-batsman played a remarkable inning to put New Zealand in the driving seat. Apart from him, it was Mitchell Santner who did the maximum damage with a century and he also picked up some significant wickets. Another good news for New Zealand was that Kane Williamson played well for a half-century and that would have released the pressure on him. Many people considered Lockie Ferguson to be the choice over Neil Wagner but now there will not be any doubts as his style of bowling involves getting an awkward bounce from a good length and this troubled all batsmen. There is one downside though and that is Trent Boult’s availability. If he doesn’t play it will be a big boost for England. Although New Zealand has Ferguson and Matt Henry in balance.
England team preparations
There are several problems to sort out for Joe Root and England and the biggest of them is his batting. His batting average in the last 3 years has dropped down to 40 and things have gone worse in 2019. This has put severe pressure on his captaincy and he will be wary of going into the second test. The English openers are not sticking around long enough and that is another problem leading to Joe Root’s demise as he is constantly facing the new ball. England performed modestly in the Ashes series but there were some great individual performances. Although the lower middle order looks good they have other problems to solve especially in the bowling department. Ben Stokes batted well in the first test and will be the key player going into this series. The margin of defeat in the first test will the main worry for England though.
There is a clear difference between New Zealand and England teams as was showcased in the first test. The series is played in New Zealand and that makes the English miseries worse. They have a lot of catching up to do. Going by the way these teams played in the first test I will go with New Zealand to win the second test as well. But this could be a closely fought encounter.
England, New Zealand.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton.
Timing: Friday, November 29, 2019, 3.30 AM, 10 PM GMT, 11 AM LOCAL.
TV: Sky Sports.
Live Streaming: NOW TV.